Tag Archives: thankful

A Tribute To My Mom

...with Great Meme
…with Great Meme

I dedicate this post as a tribute to my mom in celebration of Mother’s Day.

She is my ROCK! She was there during my chemo and after my surgery and even before all of the medical stuff.  She raised two girls as a single mom during the time when child support wasn’t given much priority. I never felt as if I ever missed out on anything.

She kept us active in church and always prioritized church over all other activities. My sister and I were involved in the music department at church and participated on tours with our respective singing groups.

I played basketball and volleyball and would go to away games with the team.  My mom would give me her last $5.00 so I could go on these away trips. In retrospect, she gave me her lunch money.  I would venture to say that there were many times she sacrificed so that my sister and I could have what we needed.

We enjoyed a lot of ‘staycations’.  A ‘staycation’ is a weekend get away or vacation just a few miles from your home.  Our neighbor had a small cottage near the beach and would rent it to us at a discounted rate.  As I reflect back on these memories, it is no coincidence that we just happened to live by a neighbor who had a beach cottage. That is the favor of God on a strong Christian woman just trying to raise her girls.

One of my best memories was when she signed me up for college while I was on tour with the church singing group.  I told her as a wise 18-year-old girl, I just needed a semester off from school.  Funny.  She wasn’t having that. When I returned home, she informed me that I needed to go to the college and sign up for my classes because I was enrolled in Southeastern University.  Now that is a strong woman. She saw my potential.  I  graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree and became a teacher,  Then, I went on to earn a Master’s Degree and became and Assistant Principal and eventually a Principal.

During my first year as a Principal,  she needed heart surgery to replace a valve.  During the operation, she also needed a pacemaker/defibrillator to keep her heart beating.  She made it through the surgery.  However, she had to stay in the SICU twice as long as the surgeon anticipated. The total days in the hospital were also twice what the doctor anticipated. He had no explanation for the delay in her recovery. I visited daily and posted Bible verses on her encouragement board. I sat by her bed and begged God for more time with her. My prayers were answered. She is a fighter and she continues to fight every day.  She continues to exercise 3+ times per week.  It just took some time after surgery to regain her strength back. My mom is a 4 year survivor of heart valve replacement surgery.

In the 4 years since surgery, she has been blessed with 3 great-grandchildren.  I am blessed that she lives close enough to really know her great-grandchildren.  She visits them weekly and helps me on days that I have the kids. I value every minute with her. I am thankful for God’s favor on our lives and so blessed to write this tribute to my mom, the survivor, woman of God, and fabulous Meme.

I invite you to follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/LLStarner.

Be Blessed.

Laura

Ready.Set.Go!

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Ready.Set.Go!

Tomorrow is May 1st.

Just start.

Take 5 minutes to reflect on something that you are thankful/grateful for and write it down. (beginning or end of day)

Make time for yourself.

Take time for yourself.

Keep it easy. (start with 1 thing) You don’t have to write a long list. Just start.

I’m going to start with just one thing. I’m also going to write in my journal before I go to bed at night.

If you miss a day, so what. Just write the next day. It’s okay. There are no rules because it is your gratitude journal.

I used to keep a gratitude journal and it just got pushed aside.  I’m going to make time for 5 minutes of reflection every evening.

Here are a few ideas:

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You can start with a spiral notebook or with a leather journal (purple). I’m using a basic spiral.

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Just start. Grab some paper and staple it together.  The benefit comes in writing down our thoughts not what the journal looks like.

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I chose this one. I already wrote May 1, 2015.

Take that 5 minutes a day and let’s see where we are in 15 days. I’ll be back for a mid-May check-in

Ready.Set.Go.

Be blessed.

Laura

Who Knew?

My new look!
My new look!

Who knew that something as simple as a broken wrist would be so very challenging?  Not me.

With breast cancer,  the plan was set for the year, give or take a few port complications and a hospital visit.

4-RED Devil Chemos

4-Taxol and Herceptin

Herceptin to continue for a year

Surgery

Radiation (35 rads)

and go from there….

Broken Wrist

I was only told that I need a cast. Somewhere the communication regarding immobilization of your hand was totally left out.  What does it cause? In my case, every tendon from the wrist to the fingers needs to learn how to work again. (My interpretation of conversation with the Physical Therapist)

My observations…just a week ago, I noticed my 7 month old grandson working on the same fine motor skills that I was working on.

Benefits

I realize that I am blessed beyond my wildest dream.  I have a roof over my head, a family, friends and a MIGHTY GOD. Material possessions do not matter to me. It’s the daily blessings that go unnoticed such as tying your shoes.

Who knew? God knew. In Deuteronomy 33:26 (ESV) the Bible says: There is none like God…who rides through the heavens to your help.

I invite you to follow me on Facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/laurasjourneyofhope

Be Blessed.

Laura

On A Personal Note

NOW

NOW

THEN

THEN

A Personal Note…

I wanted to write you a personal note with an update on my wrist. I broke my wrist late February so it has been about 6 -7 weeks.  I went from a splint to cast and now I wear a brace. My hand is still very swollen but at least my nails look good. This along with cancer is one of those things I just don’t understand.

Reality Check

I never realized all those things I take for granted.  Here are just a few:

holding my precious grandchildren

typing this blog

driving

cooking

tying shoes

holding a bottle of water

Thankful and Blessed

I am making good progress. I am so thankful for what I have.  I am blessed and I know that God still has me in his divine plan. It is in his promise.

My Life Verse.

My Life Verse.

Thanks for the prayers.  I appreciate you!

I invite you to follow me on FB @ facebook.com/laurasjourneyofhope.com.

Be Blessed.

Laura

Only Two Days Left

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It’s hard to believe that we only have two days left in the 31 DAYS of Kindness Challenge. When I started the 31 Days of Kindness Challenge, I thought I would be able to fully participate. Much to my surprise, a few days before the challenge began, I fell and broke my wrist. Then I became the person who needed the kindness and was given more kindness than I was able to give others. Sometimes it’s hard for us to accept kindness from others, especially strong women, because we are used to taking care of everybody else . One thing I have learned is to accept the kindness, and say ‘thank you’.

I want to thank my sister and mom who have assisted me over the last few weeks with meals, transportation and things around the house.

Sometimes life throws us that curve ball and we have to go with it. So if you are ever in that situation, accept the help and say ‘thank you’ because if you don’t it takes the blessing away from the person trying to help you. I learned this with my battle with breast cancer and most recently my broken wrist.

Kindness starts with us!

DAY 1...

Call a loved one you haven’t spoken to in a while.

Be encouraging

DAY 2

Bring donuts or other delicious sweets to work

Don’t complain

DAY 3

Leave a kind note for a family member or friend

Collect can goods for a food bank

DAY 4

Donate blood (if able)

Make it a point to smile at every one you see or pass by

DAY 5

Send flowers to a teacher (current or former) who has dedicated his/her life to teaching

Donate old books or magazines to a hospital or nursing home

DAY 6

Use this day to catch up. After all, it’s not about quantity. It’s about quality.

DAY 7

Praise someone at work for doing a good job

Check in on someone you know is alone

DAY 8

Make amends with someone you have wronged

Pay for the person behind you in the drive-thru

DAY 9

Hug a family member

Give your pocket change to someone who needs it

DAY 10

Pick up any trash/liter you see

Put a grocery cart back where it belongs

DAY 11

Give a generous to a server

Go out of your comfort zone to make a new friend

DAY 12

Introduce yourself to a neighbor

Be thankful…

DAY 13

Write a letter to a friend

Say ‘thank you’ a lot

DAY 14

Let people merge in traffic

Be someone’s cheerleader

DAY 15

Smile easily and laugh

Recognize the good in others

DAY 16

Take a meal to a family you know

Run an errand for somebody

DAY 17

Say something nice to everyone you see

Offer someone behind you in the grocery check-out line to go in front of you.

DAY 18

Give encouragement to someone who is working hard

Make a personalized playlist for a family member

DAY 19

Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while

Always keep your word

DAY 20

Offer to pet sit for someone for free

Shop for someone who is ill

DAY 21

Put extra change in a meter that is about to run out

Send a card or flowers to someone going through tough times

DAY 22

Give up your seat for someone else

Spend a day saying only nice things to others

DAY 23

Be an active listener

Leave a treat for your mail carrier in your mailbox

DAY 24

Visit a sick friend

Forgive mistakes

DAY 25

Tip generously

Leave a thank you note

 DAY 26

Cheer up a friend

Ask someone how they are …and really listen

 DAY 27

Leave change in the vending machine

Donate your talent

DAY 28

Don’t nag

Be kind to yourself

DAY 29

Do nice things and don’t tell anyone about it

Send a care package to a soldier

DAY 30

Bake a cake for a birthday person

Give chocolate generously and often

DAY 31

Be patient

Let it go

Only two days left….Let’s go make a difference.

I invite you to follow me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/laurasjourneyofhope

Be Blessed.

Laura

The TWELFTH DAY OF KINDNESS!

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These are just suggestions because any kind act matters! Kindness starts with us! I love this day!  I am so thankful for God, my family, friends, church, and new friends I will meet today!

DAY 1…
Call a loved one you haven’t spoken to in a while.
Be encouraging
DAY 2 of Kindness Challenge…
Bring donuts or other delicious sweets to work
Don’t complain
DAY 3
Leave a kind note for a family member or friend
Collect can goods for a food bank
DAY 4
Donate blood (if able)
Make it a point to smile at every one you see or pass by
DAY 5
Send flowers to a teacher (current or former) who has dedicated his/her life to teaching
Donate old books or magazines to a hospital or nursing home
DAY 6
Use this day to catch up. After all, it’s not about quantity. It’s about quality.
DAY 7
Praise someone at work for doing a good job
Check in on someone you know is alone
DAY 8
Make amends with someone you have wronged
Pay for the person behind you in the drive-thru
DAY 9
Hug a family member
Give your pocket change to someone who needs it
DAY 10
Pick up any trash/liter you see
Put a grocery cart back where it belongs
DAY 11
Give a generous to a server
Go out of your comfort zone to make a new friend
DAY 12
Introduce yourself to a neighbor
Be thankful…
DAY 13
Write a letter to a friend
Say ‘thank you’ a lot
DAY 14
Let people merge in traffic
Be someone’s cheerleader
DAY 15
Smile easily and laugh
Recognize the good in others

I invite you to follow me on FB @ http://www.facebook.com/laurasjourneyofhope

Be Blessed!

Laura

DAY 9 Already!

 

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Can you believe that it’s already DAY 9?

You can start today.  It’s never too late to join.  Every ‘act of kindness’ counts. I encourage you to write down these acts of kindness in the comments section below or to keep a journal.  Some of you have already started a kindness journal.

I post at least two or three suggestions daily. These are only a suggestion.  You may recognize a different need. You can add it to the comments below or to your journal.  Kindness is about… seeing a need and helping.

Kindness starts with us!

DAY 1…

Call a loved one you haven’t spoken to in a while.

Be encouraging

DAY 2 of Kindness Challenge...

Bring donuts or other delicious sweets to work

Don’t complain

DAY 3

Leave a kind note for a family member or friend

Collect can goods for a food bank

DAY 4

Donate blood (if able)

Make it a point to smile at every one you see or pass by

DAY 5

Send flowers to a teacher (current or former) who has dedicated his/her life to teaching

Donate old books or magazines to a hospital or nursing home

DAY 6

Use this day to catch up. After all, it’s not about quantity. It’s about quality.

DAY 7

Praise someone at work for doing a good job

Check in on someone you know is alone

DAY 8

Make amends with someone you have wronged

Pay for the person behind you in the drive-thru

DAY 9

Hug a family member

Give your pocket change to someone who needs it

DAY 10

Pick up any trash/liter you see

Put a grocery cart back where it belongs

DAY 11

Give a generous to a server

Go out of your comfort zone to make a new friend

Can you believe it’s already DAY 9? We are impacting the world one kind deed at a time.

I invite you to follow me on FB at http://www.facebook.com/laurasjourneyofhope.

Be Blessed!

Laura

Warning: Not for the faint of heart

It was a normal Wednesday morning I was watching my two youngest grandchildren. Had a little bump in the road this week as you can see by the picture below I fell and broke my wrist.

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I will try my best to continue to blog on Monday’s and Thursday’s.  All prayers are appreciated.

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On the bright side, at this time I do not need surgery.  It’s just going to slow me down a little bit which might be good for me.

Remember to enjoy the journey wherever it may take you.

I invite you to join me at www.Facebook.com/laurasjourneyofhope.

Be blessed.

Laura

Is Everything Okay?

Survivor flowers (6 years) from Kelsey and Josh waiting for me at home after my appointment this week..
Survivor flowers (6 years) from Kelsey and Josh waiting for me at home after my appointment this week..

Is Everything Okay? 

That is what I asked Dr. Wonderful (Hematologist-Oncologist) this week. I had my 6 month visit.

Usually, it goes well but this time when I asked her if everything was okay she said, “I don’t know.”  The next 24 hours are a blur. She ordered an ultrasound but the Women’s Center made me get a mammogram, too.  Mammograms are so painful for me.

The time leading up to the ultrasound seemed like weeks even though it was only 24 hours.

My initial reaction to everything sent me right back to where I was 6 years ago.  I was so upset.  I had a few minutes where the doubt began to creep in my mind.  When I came home I told my husband about the ultrasound. Also, I told him that if I needed a biopsy that I was going to cancel….STOP RIGHT THERE…

Then I said, “NO…I’m not going to cancel anything.  If I need to fight this battle again, I will not change my schedule.”  He encouraged me that it was going to be okay.

While waiting for the appointment, I prayed, spent some time with my grandchildren, and listened to praise and worship music.

Kelsey apologized for the 6 year survivor flowers on the counter that were waiting for me when I came home from the appointment.  I told her that we will celebrate the 6 year survival until we know different.  That is the first time I had flowers waiting after a doctors appointment. It was so thoughtful of Kelsey and Josh and made me feel so awesome.

Is everything okay?  I am thankful to report…YES, Yes it is.  I was reminded this week of just how precious life is…just how undeserving I am to have this second chance…just how blessed I am by a supportive husband and daughters…just how blessed I am by my three grandchildren…and the promise in Joel 2:25…”God can restore what is broken…”

Is everything okay?  YES!

I invite you to follow me on FB @ http://www.facebook.com/laurasjourneyofhope.

Be Blessed.

Laura

Survivor…6 Year Celebration

On 12/26/14, I am a 6 year breast cancer survivor from diagnosis! Yay!
On 12/26/14, I am a 6 year breast cancer survivor from diagnosis! Yay!

The best Christmas present I could have is to be here to write this post on my blog today.  As of tomorrow,  I am a 6 year breast cancer survivor from the date of diagnosis. I am thankful, blessed, humbled and overwhelmed with gratitude. Be Blessed and Merry Christmas!

Laura

6  year breast cancer survivor
6 year breast cancer survivor